Bills' Joe Brady: It's 'Josh Allen's offense' amid WR changes

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- There is only one wide receiver remaining on the Buffalo Bills roster who caught a pass in a game last season. For a Bills team in transition, the new faces are aplenty, with that wide receiver, Khalil Shakir, one of few carryovers in the room.

The most significant constant for the Bills offense going into 2024 is the one at the center of it all, as pointed out by offensive coordinator Joe Brady when asked about having a full offseason to put his spin on the offense.

"At the end of the day, this is Josh Allen's offense," Brady said Tuesday, just two sentences into his news conference. "You're going to put together the offense around the guys that you've got. So, for us to just say, 'Hey, we're just going to scrap everything and everything was broken.' That wasn't the case. ... There'll be some elements of things that I believe in, but it's more of like, tell me who we have on our football team and the guys and what they can do well and we're going to do that."

Brady took over the coordinator role on an interim basis beginning in Week 11 of the 2023 season and was promoted to the permanent role this offseason.

The Bills moved on from the team's leader in targets in each of the past four seasons when they traded Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans. Allen's rise in performance corresponded to the arrival of Diggs to the team in 2020. Diggs accounted for 29.4% of the team's targets last season (sixth highest in the NFL), and that's with his overall production declining after Week 6, with zero 100-yard receiving games the rest of the season and only receiving three touchdowns after that point.

"At the end of the day when you played the Buffalo Bills for however many years, you had to worry about Stefon Diggs and that is different now," Brady said in his first news conference since the season ended. "But you also had to worry about Josh Allen. And it's a quarterback-driven league and at the end of the day, we're fortunate that we still have him, and the offense will still run through him. We'll have to adjust, and we'll have to get a feel of how teams are playing us."

The threat of Allen will continue to extend to the running game with the quarterback leading the team in rushing touchdowns (15) in 2023 and over 500 rushing yards for the fifth time in his career.

With Brady calling plays, Diggs' percentage of the team's targets decreased from 31% to 27%, partly with the running backs also getting more involved as receivers. Another of Allen's top targets was Gabe Davis, who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency and had 80 or more targets in each of the past two seasons.

"I think it's important for us to not sit there and focus necessarily on like, man, we have to replace this, we have to replace this," Brady said. "More so like, hey, every game, every season is going to be different. The numbers are never going to be the exact same and let's just figure out how we can get our players into the best position to have success."

Tight end Dalton Kincaid, entering his second season, is expected to see his role in the offense continue to increase after finishing his rookie year second on the team in targets (91) and receptions (73) behind Diggs, in addition to running backs James Cook and rookie Ray Davis and tight end Dawson Knox having roles in the passing game. Brady noted that Cook is "physically in a better shape than he was. You look at him and I can tell he put in a lot of work this offseason."

Opportunities will be there for the revamped receiver room with a tough competition to make the 53-man roster. The team signed a variety of wide receivers in free agency, including Curtis Samuel, Mack Hollins, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Chase Claypool, in addition to drafting Keon Coleman 33rd overall. Brady noted the Bills felt Coleman "has a skill set we feel we didn't have in the room and will continue to evolve. He has traits that you look for and skills that you think you can develop and with a great mindset."

The acquisitions had a trend of being on the taller side with six listed as 6-foot-4, including Coleman. Brady emphasized that while the offense is Allen's offense, it will be built around what the players do well. He said that OTAs are being used to experiment with what the players can do and also build the comfort between Allen and the receivers. Shakir noted that the receivers are learning "every different spot so we can play fast and not have to think about it."

"That's the mentality [Brady will] tell us all the time, everybody eats," Shakir said. "And that's whether you're running a certain route, you got to go and you got to clear for your buddy who's coming running an out route or whatever it is. But like I said before, what goes around comes around. ... It's more of mentality of like, we're all working together to make sure that play works, and you just keep building off of that."